Metro State sweeps Mesa State softball team at Bergman
Despite being swept Saturday by Metro State, Mesa State College softball coach Kris Mort isn’t concerned about her hitters.
“I thought we hit the ball better in the second game,” Mort said. “We hit a lot more line drives through their circle than they hit through ours and I’m pretty satisfied with that. Our hitting will come.
“I don’t think they have pitching we can’t adjust to; we have good hitters, better than we displayed. We had seven hits (in the second game), we just didn’t string them together.”
No, Mort is focused on her pitching staff, which got behind from the very start at Bergman Field in Metro State’s 4-2, 6-1 doubleheader sweep.
Sara Jordan walked five batters and hit two more in the first game and freshman Danielle Axe walked four in three innings of her first start in the second game.
“Bottom line, we have to stop walking people,” Mort said. “We walked entirely too many people. I need my pitching staff to step up and want the ball ad not be scared to throw it and throw it hard and make it move and know where it’s gonna go. That’s the bottom line.”
Jordan allowed a leadoff single by Kellie Nishikida to open the game, and with one out, Tara Mickelson fouled out a half-dozen pitches before drawing a walk. After Jordan struck out Jenessa Tesone, she threw an illegal pitch, moving the runners to second and third. Two walks and a hit batter gave the Roadrunners (9-1, 5-0 RMAC) a 2-0 lead.
Dani Vallie beat out a bunt single and stole second to lead off Mesa’s half of the first and came around to score when Gabi Parra reached on an error at first. Jordan singled up the middle with one out but she and Parra were stranded when Lauren Cross and Ashlee Duffy popped out.
“It’s a time of one, if kids come out and hit well the first weekend they start pressing, trying to keep that average and if they don’t (hit well), they press not to be the hole in the lineup,” Mort said. “It’ll wash itself out.”
Metro scored single runs in the fourth and sixth and the Mavs tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth.
Jordan doubled to the gap in left-center and pinch-runner J.J. Johnson scored on a two-out single by Megan Smith, who stole second, the second stolen base of the game for the Mavs’ catcher. She was stranded when Katie Mitchell grounded back to the pitcher.
Jordan pitched out of several jams — the Roadrunners left 12 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the first, fourth and sixth innings.
Right fielder Lita Romero saved a run in the third with a double play in right field. Danni Hedstrom flied out to right and pinch-runner Kristen Gertner tried to score from third, but Romero’s throw was right on target and Smith blocked the plate for the out.
The Roadrunners scored one run in the second inning of the second game, but it should have been two.
With two out and Hedstrom on second, Aubree Maul hit a fly ball to left that looked like it was going to curl foul, but struck the foul pole and richochted back into foul territory. Vallie hustled after the ball and threw it in because neither umpire signaled the home run, only that the ball was fair. Hedstrom scored and Maul stopped at second.
Metro coach Jen Fisher didn’t argue for a home run, although several people in the crowd were calling for one. Mort wasn’t about to say anything to keep the run off the board.
In the third, though, Tesone hit a no-doubt home run over the scoreboard in left-center for a 3-0 lead.
The teams wrap up the series with a doubleheader at 11 this morning.
“We’re going to be as good as our pitching staff, if they keep us in games,” Mort said. “I need my pitching staff to take their job seriously, I told them that. We’re going to be as good as our pitching staff.”